(Psalms 123:2, 40:1; Isaiah 40:31; James 1:4)
***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, My question is how can we be certain that when we die that we will be with Jesus?
ANSWER: First, because Jesus promised that all of those who put their faith in Him would be with their Lord for all eternity in Heaven. Also, Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:8 says, “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” The moment we take our last breath we will stand before God and at that moment, you either know Christ as your Savior by faith and are forver with Him, or you do not, and will be forever in hell.
No doubt one of the most difficult things we do in our journey with the Lord is follow Him to be where He wants us to be, and doing what He wants us to be doing. I have no doubt that it is the ultimate goal of every follower of Christ, everyone that has surrendered their lives to Christ. Having that as our goal, achieving that goal is something EVERY Christian struggles with throughout their life. The million dollar question is how do we get to the exact place God wants us to be, doing the exact thing God wants us to be doing with our life each day.
To find the answer, we have to start with the big picture. Each person that lives was created with the same purpose. That is to serve and glorify God, in this life and for eternity. The starting point of being where God wants you to be, doing the things God wants you to do is in surrendering your life completely, unconditionally to Him. It is the one and only thing that God has ever asked us to do. The fact is, the Bible says that if you have accepted Christ as your Savior, it is no longer your life, it belongs to Him. So in reality, you are only surrendering to Him what is already His to begin with.
Completely surrendering our life to the Lord is one of the most difficult things for any person to do. Our flesh says NO, it is MY LIFE. Satan is there with his lie that you can give God a little bit of your life, but also keep some for yourself. Jesus said that you can’t serve two masters, you have to choose who you will serve. The fact is, it is in LOSING our life that we find it! Many people have tried living with one foot in the church, and one foot in the world. I know I did for many years. I bought into satan’s lie that I could go to church on Sunday, give the church a big check every week, do a few things on the side for God, but still keep my life and do whatever I WANTED.
The rich young ruler came to Jesus and when Jesus told him to give away all that he had and follow Him, to turn from the things of this world and completely surrender his life to Christ, the Bible says he went away “sorrowful.” When it came time to choose following Jesus or keeping the things of this world, he decided he could not let go of the things of this world. As Jesus said, YOU CAN’T SERVE TWO MASTERS! You can’t serve God and mammon at the same time. God isn’t impressed with our “scraps of service,” God wants our life! You will NEVER be right where God wants you to be, doing exactly what God wants you to do with your life until you first surrender your life 100% to Him! Not 70%, not 80%, not 90%, not even 99% . . . 100%!!!
Once you come to that place where you completely surrender your life to Christ, the challenge then is to find out exactly where God wants you to be, and doing exactly God wants you to do in serving Him. The starting place is to determine what you have a passion for and what are you talented in. It is God that gives each person a passion for those things we love in life. It is also God that gives us our gifts and talents. That is why those young adult years are so critical. It is during those years that as we are exposed to different things, we develop a like for some things over others, and start to understand the gifts God has given to us. GOD GIVES EVERYONE GIFTS, NATURAL ABILITY IN CERTAIN AREAS, BUT WE STILL MUST DEVELOP AND PERFECT THOSE GIFTS OVER TIME.
In addition to gaining an understanding about what things in life we have a passion for, finding our what our natural gifts are, God will open and close doors during our life to guide us where HE wants us to be. Remember, there are NO coincidences with God. Nothing happens by accident. God allows events to happen in our life, allows people to come into our life, to guide us to where He wants us to be, doing what He wants us to be doing.
I love you and care about you so much. After completely surrendering our life to the Lord, the most important thing we can do is spend time with HIM each day in prayer and the Word. God speaks to us through His living Word, through that “still small voice” as we pray, in addition through other people and our circumstances. As our lives are yielded to the Lord, become empty vessels for Him to use, God WILL place you right where He wants you to be, doing exactly what He wants you to be doing.
Never forget, our life is made up of many seasons. Throughout the course of our journey God may have us doing MANY things for the Kingdom. That is why we must be close to the Lord each day, listening to Him with our spiritual ears and watching Him with our spiritual eyes. We are soldiers in HIS army, and as any soldier knows, your commander may have you fighting in one place today and somewhere totally new tomorrow.
I will be praying for you today. Praying that you will take time to meditate on these words. The last element is patience, WAITING ON THE LORD. Again, it is God who opens and closes doors in our life. There are times we need to be patient, wait on the Lord to not only show us a door, but open that door. The goal of every follower of Christ is to be where God wants us to be, doing what God wants us to do with our life. We achieve that goal by first surrendering our life completely to the Lord, by following those God-given passions while using the gifts He gives us, by staying in a close intimate daily relationship with Him so we can “hear” and “see” Him, and be patiently waiting on the Lord to guide us.
The ultimate in life is to wake us each day knowing you are exactly where God wants you to be and doing exactly what God wants you to be doing with your life. I will be praying for you today as you come to that place in your life.
In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,
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